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Periodontal (Gum) Disease and Overall Health

There’s no doubt—the effects of Periodontal (Gum) Disease on oral health can be devastating. In fact, periodontal disease is responsible for tooth loss in many adults. Yet, recent findings about the connections of periodontal disease to overall health have dental professionals urging patients not to forego regular dental examinations.

What Causes Periodontal Disease?

Simply put, periodontal disease begins with a buildup of plaque along the tooth and gum line. Plaque is sticky, colorless, and interacts with acids from foods and beverages, often causing tooth decay. Good oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing daily, as well as seeing the dentist regularly can prevent plaque from developing into tartar, which accelerates tooth decay and is difficult to remove. While other factors play a role in the development of periodontal disease, your oral hygiene and commitment to dental care is your greatest defense.

Making Connections

Though research is ongoing, the following health concerns are believed to be associated with periodontal (gum) disease:

Atherosclerosis (Heart Disease): Periodontal disease may increase the risk of clogged arteries and heart disease. Many believe that this is due to increased inflammation from infection in the gums. For those with existing heart disease, periodontal disease may make it worse.

Premature Birth: Women who have periodontal disease during pregnancy are at risk for early delivery, resulting in a low birth weight for the baby.

Diabetes: For those with Diabetes, controlling blood sugar may prove difficult as a result of periodontal disease. In the same way, those with uncontrolled diabetes may be more at risk for developing periodontal disease.

Respiratory Disease: Bacteria from periodontal disease can result in lung infections, particularly in elderly patients. As a result, the likelihood of developing pneumonia is greater.

While periodontal (gum) disease occurs in different stages from Gingivitis (bleeding gums) to advanced stages (loosening of teeth), patients are encouraged to keep up with regular dental checkups. Regular dental examinations provide invaluable insight about your oral health.

Dr. C Family Dentistry welcomes your family to our practice. We believe that oral health will affect your overall health, and that’s why we provide comprehensive dental examinations aimed at prevention and early diagnosis. You’ll feel at ease with the comfortable care given by Dr. Josh and Amy Cochran. Call Dr. C Family Dentistry today.

Posted on behalf of Dr. C Family Dentistry

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Dr. Josh Chocran

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